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san jose

Old Jun 26th, 2010, 04:43 PM
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san jose

I'm staying in a time share in san jose for a week- any suggestions of things to do there or nearby?
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Old Jun 26th, 2010, 05:57 PM
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Firstly, what do you like to do? Also what time of year will it be?

Some ideas:
1. San Francisco - one hour north on the 101
2. Monterey - aquarium; Carmel - downtown
3. Winetasting: Santa Cruz Mtns (close), Livermore (medium), Napa (far)
4. Hiking
5. Beach - Santa Cruz, Capitola, etc.
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Old Jun 26th, 2010, 07:38 PM
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San Jose Museum of Art
Winchester Mystery House, San Jose
Great America amusement park, San Jose
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Santa Cruz' old-fashioned amusement park
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Old Jun 27th, 2010, 04:02 AM
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we're going to san jose in a week- starting july 3rd. we're flying into san francisco, renting a car and then heading to san jose. we like theater, wineries, beach, mountains, historical spots, eating in great restaurants- any suggestions? we made a reservation for a winery tour in sonoma and the alcatraz tour in san francisco.
any suggestions
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Old Jun 27th, 2010, 04:24 AM
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Sounds like you mean by "nearby" within a few hours drive (as in Sonoma).

You can add to the lists above the Monterey peninsula (Monterey & Carmel) & a visit to the agricultural areas south of SJ (Gilroy = Garlic, Castroville = Artichokes)

SJ isn't a great base for repeat trips to SF, but it's ok for one or 2 day trips, but the hr+ drive back and forth will get tiring quickly.
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Old Jun 27th, 2010, 04:38 AM
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what is public transportation like from san jose to san francisco? does it go fairly frequently? would it be wise to leave our car in san jose and rely on public transportation for a few day trips to san francisco?
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Old Jun 27th, 2010, 05:05 AM
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There is a commuter rail from SJ to SF. Into SF there is frequent service till 8am, then 2x per hr till 10, then 1x per hr the rest of the day. Back to SJ there's a similar rush hour peak. Check caltrain.com for schedules. Cost is about $15 for a day pass that covers those zones, and the ride takes about 80min.

Whether it's convenient for you depends on
a) # people
b) your location in San Jose
c) your destination in SF. For a baseball game caltrain is great, but it's not as convenient if you're wanting to visit Fisherman's wharf or the Golden Gate Bridge.

If you are 4 people then $60 will be more expensive than parking your car in SF + gas.

If you are located close to I280 in San Jose then by the time you drive to a CalTrain station, wait for a train you could be most of the way to SF. From many parts of San Jose the stops in Santa Clara or Sunnyvale may actually be more convenient than the main SJ station.

I suggest you familiarize yourself with both SJ & SF areas (i.e. using maps.google.com) to plot out sites, distances, etc. There's not one right answer. By car or train SJ isn't a convenient base for visiting SF sights, but since it's a timeshare you can certainly make the best of it.
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Old Jun 27th, 2010, 05:42 AM
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we're staying at the dolce hayes mansion in san jose- is that close to any train station? we're going to spend one night at a bed and breakfast in san franscisc- we thought that would cut down on the number of times we're going back and forth.
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Old Jun 27th, 2010, 06:14 AM
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Dolce Hayes is in South San Jose - between the Blossom Hill and Capitol RR stations - both of which are in CalTrain Zone 5. That means a day pass is $19.00. Trains to/from these 2 stations only run at rush hour - the last am departure from Capitol is around 7am. Anything later and you'd need to drive to San Jose station.

Trips to Monterey would be easier, and SF longer than if you were further North in San Jose.

Seriously though - online maps such as maps.google.com are great tools for driving, public transportation, and finding sights. I repeat my suggestion that you familiarize yourself with both SJ & SF areas to plot out sites, distances, etc., and www.caltrain.com for schedules.

teach a man to fish...
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Old Jun 27th, 2010, 08:53 AM
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there are TONS of great restaurants at all price levels in the SJ area. What kind of food do you like? Also, check tripadvisor.com for various restaruant ratings.
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Old Jun 27th, 2010, 02:06 PM
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we like seafood, mexican, italian- just don't like chain restaurants- would love to get some recommendations!
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Old Jun 27th, 2010, 02:45 PM
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here are some ideas: http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...estaurants.cfm

Also, Andale (Mexican) and I'Gatti (Italian) in Los Gatos
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Old Jun 27th, 2010, 07:17 PM
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The Fish Market on Blossom Hill; La Pastaia at Hotel De Anza, El Burro in The Pruneyard.
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Old Jun 27th, 2010, 07:21 PM
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Not, I mean NOT, a fan of La Pastaia, but that's JMHO. I think San Jose has some decent places to eat, but very few great restaurants.
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Old Jun 27th, 2010, 08:43 PM
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Not, I mean NOT, a fan of The Fish Market, but that's JMHO. It's a chain of seafood restaurants - expansive menu with fish prepared 10 ways from Sunday in a chain restaurant kitchen. OK for lunch. OK for dinner. Decent place to eat, but not a great restaurant.
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Old Jun 28th, 2010, 01:07 AM
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Hayes Mansion is in a residential area, so you'll have to drive a bit for just about anything.

If you like Vietnamese food, there is a good place not far - Pho My on Snell and Guifreida, about a block from Chynoweth.

Mexican takeout - Burrito Factory is good, it is on Blossom Hill near Snell.

Blossom Hill has a ton of restaurants - most of the popular chains are there, plus some local places. Armadillo Willy's is a local barbecue chain at Blossom Hill and Santa Theresa. In that same center is Chaat Cafe, which is a good, casual indian place. For chinese food, Mandarin Gourmet is good - on Santa Theresa near Blossom Hill.

If you want to go downtown, I would recommend House of Siam (Thai), Bella Mia (Italian), 71St Peter (mediteranean), Caper's Loft (bistro), E&O Trading Co (south asian fusion), Gordon Biersch (brewery restaurant), Poor House Bistro (New Orleans style). There are plenty of other places too, but that will get you started.
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Old Jun 28th, 2010, 06:46 AM
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Check out my trip report, which I added onto an earlier post about the area:

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...an-jose-ca.cfm

The short answer for San Jose attractions is: Winchester Mystery House (liked a lot), Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum (not a big fan), San Jose Museum of Art (very good), Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph (worth a pop-in), San Jose Historical Museum (good).

Public transportation does exist in San Jose, but it's not that convenient for linking up the primary attractions, as they're somewhat spread out. You'd need to take a combination of light rail and buses to see what I did there, and would likely need a couple days to do so. If you have a car, that will be useful and efficient here.
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Old Jun 28th, 2010, 09:45 AM
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To add to bachslunch's list - The Tech Museum downtown is also good. Also, I believe the Fallon House and Peralta Adobes are open to visitors.

For downtown stuff - St. Joseph's, The Tech, SJ Museum of Art, etc. - all are within easy walking distance of each other and the lightrail goes downtown. So you could drive over to the Branham station (the closest to Hayes) and take lightrail, or you could drive and park.
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